Thursday, January 18, 2007

On the Bandwagon

by SonDog

It's official. I'm making it official right here. Right now. I'm on the bandwagon of pissed off Kings fans. The wagon is circling the towns of Boredom, Anger and Resentment. Yup, I want to blow up this team.

Not since the 2006 San Francisco Giants have I been as thoroughly dissinterested about a group of players and coach/manager. Here's my annual 36-game (14-22 record) breakdown of the key persons involved (Coincidentally, when the Kings were 14-22 last year, they traded for Artest):

Eric Musselman (coach): In over the head that sits on his 5'4" frame. Known as a defensive coach, Musselman's team is giving up MORE points per game than any Kings team since 1999. Plus, if you believe Marty McNeal of the SacBee, Musslehead is a slimy little weasel.

Ron Artest: Trade him. Trade him now. If not, you risk picking up 10 Canadian cents to the dollar later on. Artest is the Israel to Mike Bibby's Palestine (and Kevin Martin's Lebanon) (and Brad Miller's Iran) (and John Salmons' Syria) (and... you get the point.)

Mike Bibby: Trade him. Trade him now. Trade him before he decides to pick up the option for $28 million over the next two years. Earlier this season, the theory was that the Kings needed to trade him for fear of getting nothing in return after he opts out at the end of the year. Now, the fear is that he will NOT opt out. Bibby has been horrible this year and is steadfastly refusing to let Artest be the floor leader (in fairness, it's tough to tell if Bibby is making a good or bad decision).

Brad Miller: He died two years ago, but his corpse is still running around the court from time to time.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim: Whatever.

Here's some highlights from Chris Sheridon's recent blog on ESPN Insider:

"Blame for the final minute breakdown (game against the Knicks) ultimately falls to Sacramento coach Eric Musselman, but Monday's loss looked all too similar to the Kings' recent close losses in this streak -- three of them in overtime -- by virtue of the way the wrong player tried to be the star at the end... and the Kings -- out of timeouts -- settled for a 3-point attempt by Artest, a 28-point shooter from behind the arc, that missed to end their final chance.

On the court with Artest on that final play were Mike Bibby, who used to make a career out of knocking down clutch shots, and Kevin Martin, who reached 30 points for the eighth time this season and who has been making 42 percent of his 3s. Artest never gave either of them so much as a glance.

Sacramento Bee beat writer Sam Amick mentioned to me after the game how he had noticed Ronnie Price of the Kings looking down at his teammates and having to implore them to stand and show some support in the final minute, yet another indication that the chemistry and cohesiveness of the Kings is far from satisfactory.

There have already been a couple of locker room blowups involving Artest, whose name continues to be bandied about in trade talk among league executives. It appeared the Kings were ready to move him before ownership apparently stepped in and made it known that they were prepared to give it a little more time ... perhaps even to gauge the trade value of Bibby, who must decide at the end of the season whether he will opt out of the final two years of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. But Bibby is having such an off year, his averages dropping to 18.0 points and 6.8 assists, that he'd have to be nuts to forego the $28 million he still is owed for next season and the year after."

This is not going to end well. My primary hope at this point is that the Kings lose every game the rest of the season and somehow wind up with one of the top 2 picks in next year's draft. Greg Oden and Kevin Durant are going to be transcendent players in this league and I would cry like a little schoolgirl if the Kings managed to get either of those players.


OZ said...

Why is it always “blow the team up”? Didn't that happen last year and we're in the exact same spot? Sure it's difficult to watch games but a few lucky bounces and a made shot or two and this is still a .500 ball club. Muss does look particularly weak and frail when they lose close games though.

OZ said...

2 things different about the Kings home page from when they were playing well.
1) They are advertising to sell tickets, which has been a non-issue for years.
2) The lead story is the dance team.....ouch.

SonDog said...

Blow... It... Up.

I would trade Artest for Maggettee right now, without hesitation. Artest is one more loss away from killing Quincy Douby in an out-of-control, locker room tirade. If I worked for the Kings, I wouldn't go within 300 yards of Artest right now.

Bibby isn't the same player this year, and I know it's probably from his wrist injury. That being said, he's taking too many shots while missing an ungodly amount of them.

Why do they not run more plays for Martin? I blame Musslehead.

the butler said...

totally agree about the Kevin Martin thing. I bet he's been drooling a little bit himself watching the upcoming NBA draft crop. Might be the only thing keeping him from jumping off a very tall building right now.

In a related story, my beloved Grizzlies are averaging 112 points a game under Barone, but are 4-6.